What is a MOO, and why is this technology relevent to a twenty first century student of literature?
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Who is the 21st century learner?
- The twenty first century learner is a member of a global community.
- To learn and contribute within this global environment, students must develop skills that are aligned with the demands of the "real world".
- Educators are realizing the value of enriching media and communication skills, global awareness and multiple forms of literacy.
- Content teachers will need to modify their teaching to reinforce 21st century literacy skills. (2004)
As teachers introduce technology within the classroom to help facilitate understanding, we must acknowledge that the twenty-first century learners we aim to address have rich experiences rooted in the digital world. Research conducted by the Pew/Internet & American Life Project documented that 81% of adolescents play online games and 87% are "online", (2005, Lenhart).File:LENHART, MADDEN, HITLIN.pdf
As researchers discover more information about young learners, what steps can teachers take to modify their practices and meet students needs? What questions should be asked before a teacher implements technology within their practice?
How can teachers of English utilize technology to facilitate deeper understanding?
Teachers of literature are faced with a dilemma when their adolescent students cannot penetrate the vocabulary of a canonical work, when they are unable to apply what they are reading to a schema of prior knowledge, or if they find it difficult to relate to the text.
When readers are unable to connect the subtleties that lie within a turn of a plot, or a charatcer's development over time, and see these events as disconnected rather than coherent elements that forward the story, it implies that the student is not reading effectively. (2002, Maryland Public Television) Many teachers have found success by utilizing the constructivist principle of facilitating conversation among students as a method of "making meaning" and delving into the story. When students engage a text in a meaningful way, (i.e. scaffolded discussions and activities supporting inquiry) the development of metacognitive strategies that support how we read and how we construct narrative are fostered. (2001, CELA)
We realize that we need to create community in our classes to foster deep understanding and that we can utilize media and technology to facilitate this kind of learning. If we are considering using MOOs in the classroom in conjunction with scaffolded discussion and activities, we will need to consider what prerequisites will need to be addressed. We will need to assess whether technology is accessible to our students, and consider what specific challenges students faced in prior years as they read and constructed meaning of classic texts.
Implementing MOOs during literature instruction might serve as a logical step for the constructivist teacher. As video games become more relavent to the lives of children and adolescents, the concept of gaming becomes a useful metaphor for literature instruction, even when computers are not present (102 Rozema). Click on this page to learn: What is a MOO. Browse this page to see how this teacher uses technology to help students make meaning of classic literature What_is_a_MOO..
Recall from your experience. List the challenges associated with facilitating deeper understanding.
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